July 27, 2007
CONTACT: Judy Dugan, 310-392-0522, ext. 305, or cell: 213-280-0175, or John Simpson, ext. 317
Chevron Record Profit Driven by Refining Profits Up 41% in US, 30% Overall, On Record Gasoline Prices;
Group Sees "Profit From Failure" in Oil Industry’s Refining Records Despite Lower Production
Santa Monica, CA — Chevron Corp. today capped oil companies’
quarterly reports with US refining profits up 41% over the same quarter
last year because of the record gasoline prices paid by consumers in
the spring, said the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.
Overall refining profits rose 30.1% to $1.3 billion from $998 million
Chevron finishes a week in which all of the major oil
companies reported refining profit records, either absolute or
quarterly, while refining less oil into fuel and other products, said
FTCR (which also produces the web site OilWatchdog.org.) The nonprofit, nonpartisan group called for government investigation and far stricter oversight of the refining business.
"Chevron and the other major oil companies profited greatly from
failure: long outages at refineries, aging equipment and lack of new
capacity," said Judy Dugan, research director of OilWatchdog.org and
FTCR. "Chevron’s refinery production in the first six months of this
year was at the lowest level since Hurricane Katrina, yet it boosted
profit to a new record as consumers paid outrageous prices at the pump.
Economies are also being battered by oil companies’ profit-taking."
– Chevron’s overall $5.38 billion profit was its highest ever
for a single quarter, up 23.6% from $4.35 billion in the same quarter
last year. Its oil production profit was up more than other companies’
at 11%, to $3.63 billion from $3.27 billion, but it was refinery
profits as well as an asset sale that drove the higher overall
increase. Refining profits were up 41% in the US, to $781 million from
$554 million, and up only 16.4% in Europe, to $517 million from $444
million the same quarter last year.
– Chevron’s refinery production was up from its first quarter,
to 881 million barrels a day from 729 million. But its six-month
average of 805 million barrels a day remains at the lowest point since
Hurricane Katrina. Its 2006 yearly average was 940 million barrels a
– ExxonMobil Thursday reported a $3.39 billion refining
profit, its largest ever and nearly equaling in a single quarter its
2003 yearly refining profit of $3.5 billion.
– Conoco, Shell and BP also recorded absolute quarterly
refining profit records, of $2.36 billion, $2.94 billion and $2.74
"Refinery profit margins are disconnected from the price of
oil, pushing gasoline prices to new records this spring without any
natural disaster driving them, and with crude oil prices below the same
quarter last year," said Dugan. "Industry refining margins in the US
are also several times the level in Europe and the rest of the world.
This means that American drivers are disproportionately paying at the
pump to boost corporate bottom lines."
See also FTCR’s report, "The Katrina Syndrome," on the driving effect of low gasoline supplies on pump prices.
FTCR urges Congress and state legislatures to investigate
refinery operations, costs and profits, and to establish oversight of
operations, including regulation of gasoline supply on hand, in order
to moderate gasoline price spikes.
– 30 –